Eviction sucks! Unfortunately, it happens though. Since most people living in mobile home parks own their homes, you’d think they don’t have to worry about eviction. Well, the leased lot creates a problem with that. This article assumes you own your home, but not your lot.
If you’re concerned about facing eviction, my goal is to share with you some valuable tips that can help you work through it, or even avoid it.
So, can you be evicted from a mobile home park?
Yes, as a mobile home owner, you can be evicted from the park your home is located in. Parks have the ability to evict you if you’re behind on lot rent, or if you’re in breach of your lease terms. Here are some tips that will help you.
Since You Own Your Home, How Does a Mobile Home Park Eviction Work?
How is it possible to be evicted from a house you own? As already mentioned, you own your home, but not the lot. I think it is easiest to think of this as both you and your home are being evicted from the park.
So, what happens then? You are given time to remove your home and yourself from the park during the eviction process, but the time varies on a number of factors, including state and court decision. This means that if you want to keep your home, then you’re required to move it.
This becomes problematic for many homeowners because it is expensive to move a home out of the park, move it to another park, and have it properly setup. This whole process costs thousands of dollars, thus becoming financially not worth it to keep the home. Most home owners end up abandoning the home and ownership is given to the park owner.
I know this sounds bleak, but there are things you can do to improve your situation if you’re facing eviction.
Know the Terms of Your Lease
Before getting started, be sure to obtain a copy of your lease. Your lease should include, but not be limited to:
- Lease term (length)
- Lot rent amount
- Lot rent increases
- Security deposits and refunds
- Late payment fees
- Park rules – Lists rules that you are subject to while leasing the lot
- Lot description – Specifically describes what you are renting from the owner
- Warranty of habitability – Describes responsibilities of the park owner to keep the lot and park livable.
Once you have a good understanding of your lease, then you’ll be able to determine the validity of your landlords claim that you’re in breach of your lease agreement. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you discovered that the park manager doesn’t have a legitimate reason to evict you? Don’t get your hopes up, but it is possible.
Common Reasons for Getting Evicted
Full disclosure, I am not a lawyer, thank goodness. None of my posts, including this one, are meant to be offered as legal advice. These are simply the things I have learned from my own research and experiences that I want to share with you. Be sure to check with a legal professional in your state to determine the accuracy of the information contained here.
Okay, now that we’ve got that legal stuff out of the way, here are the most common reasons for being evicted. Keep in mind that the park manager is required to give you written notice of these issues. Also, be aware that these reasons vary greatly from state to state.
- You’re behind on lot rent. This one is fairly self explanatory. If you get behind on lot rent, then you run the risk of being evicted. However, there are some other things to keep in mind. For instance, you will rack up late payment fees as you get more and more behind. Not only are you responsible for paying the back rent, but also the late fees.
- You’re in breach of your lease terms. In order for a park manager to evict you for breaching your lease terms, he or she would have to prove that you are in breach. This is why it is so important to research your lease terms as soon as you’re notified.
- You’re convicted of being a predatory sex offender. Not much can be done about this one.
- You (or someone in your household) commits an “extremely outrageous act” in or near the mobile home park. I know, I know. What does extremely outrageous act mean? For the most part, this is in reference to any drug dealing, prostitution, and acts of violence.
- Your park owner closes the park. The park owner usually needs to give you advance notice of a year or more prior to doing this. Also, the owner is often obligated to compensate you in some way for the inconvenience. This usually is in excess of $5,000 at the time of this writing.
- Your original lease term is completed and you refuse to sign a new lease. Again, this one is self explanatory. If you don’t agree to the lease terms offered by the park owner, then you’re required to vacate the park.
What Can You Do to Avoid or Work Through Being Evicted?
Even though I listed 6 common reasons that a mobile home owner can be evicted from a park, I’d like to focus on the 2 most frequent reasons for eviction and what you can do about it.
Breaking Your Lease Terms
PROBLEM: Even though it’s a less common reason for eviction, let’s quickly cover being evicted forbreaching your lease terms because of disrepair. Park owners/managers have to give you anywhere from 7 to 60 days notice to comply with the terms of the lot lease before beginning eviction proceedings. The time-to-comply length varies depending on the severity of the noncompliance and your state.
SOLUTION: In the past I have experienced success enlisting help from the park manager to fix noncompliance problems. Good managers are interested in keeping the park as presentable as possible in order to attract owners with high pride of ownership. They might be willing to contribute toward the cost of renovation, finance the cost for you, or give you good contractor referrals.
Getting Behind on Lot Rent
PROBLEM: In most states landlords of site-built homes only need to give 3 days notice to tenants to pay rent prior to beginning eviction proceedings. However, you get an extra 2 days in a mobile home park. The park manager is typically required to owners 5 days notice to pay rent prior to eviction proceedings. There isn’t much to celebrate about being evicted, but this is a small plus.
SOLUTION: This problem is harder to overcome because the park managers care most about keeping the park owner happy by collecting lot rent. Oftentimes, the only option here is to find someone willing to buy your home from you before you get evicted.
By having someone buy your home prior to getting evicted you can often come out ahead financially. Here are a few things you can do to sell you property:
- Speak to the park manager to find out if he or she knows about any potential buyers
- Look for other for sale listings in the park and call up the brokers to see how they can help
- Look for local real estate investors on billboards and road signs and see if they’re interested in buying your home
- List your house for sale on Zillow
How Can You Sell Your Mobile Home?
The easiest way to sell your mobile home for the highest profit is to sell it on your own online, or through a local real estate agent. In some places, realtors are not allowed to sell mobile homes located in a mobile home park where the owner leases their lot.
Start by asking around in your park for good referrals. You should quickly be able to come up with a list of local reputable agents or companies that can help you sell your home. Agent fees for selling mobile homes tend to be much less than fees for selling site-built homes. I personally think this is the best option because it is very realistic.
Selling your home on your own is more difficult, especially if you’re in a hurry to sell. However, it is still worth looking into. Start by listing the home for sale on Zillow with the best possible pictures of your house that you can get.
How Can You Find More Buyers for Your Mobile Home?
If you’re in a big hurry to sell your home and can’t wait for it to sell on Zillow or through a local realtor, then consider selling to an investor.
Investors are going to pay you less than you want to buy your home, but at least they’re going to pay you something. This will allow you to move out of the home immediately with some money in your pocket.
Let the park manager know about your plans and enlist their help if possible. Many park managers have relationships with local investors that would be willing to buy your home. Also, look for billboards and road signs advertising companies that are willing to buy houses. Call them and see if they’re interested. You have nothing to lose and much to gain.
Thanks for reading!